Friday, October 03, 2014

The rich Russians

When Pam and I holidayed in San Agnello, we stayed at the Hotel Corallo. Next door to the hotel stands a huge three storey villa that overlooks the sea. Naturally, we asked who owned it and were told it was a Russian banker, a friend of Vladimir Putin.

The villa, which was patrolled each night by security and was cleaned down inside and out by a team of ladies, is used for one month during the year as a holiday retreat. We did wonder, just how much wealth you would need to own and maintain such a house in this way.

Here we read that it is the Russians that are propping up the revival in building on the Costa Blanca by purchasing holiday homes at the top end of the market. With their new found wealth, they are off on a spending spree moping up bargains along the way. 

Last night Pam and I watched two programmes about Russians in London. The people in the programs were enjoying the same extravagant lifestyle, the same almost obscene spending on luxury as the owner of the Italian villa.

For example, at one point in the film we were shown the owner of a boutique drinking coffee at £70 a cup. In another scene, a couple from Kiev flew from London to Birmingham in a private jet just to enjoy a curry.  The same couple were shown shopping for a car for the lady to use in London and ended up buying a Bentley Continental and an American Ford muscle car. During the test drive it was clear that the lady was almost totally incompetent behind the wheel. The salesman was sweating nervously throughout the whole experience. Later on the same couple jetted off to Monaco for a weekend in the sun.

It became clear from the program that money does not buy you class nor does it buy you common sense. It also became clear why there was a bloody revolution in Russia.

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